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Join Date: May 2002
Re: What do teach your young hunters ?
1. Weapon safety is number one. I always remind them to check the safety on the weapon often, and then check it again. The safety never goes off until right before the pulling of the trigger. We've had game in view and within range multiple times, but the safety never goes off until right before shooting.
2. Never ever break the hunting laws. Any success is totally tainted if the rules have to be broken even a little. You do it legal or you don't do it at all.
3. This is the big one for those that say kids will get bored if they don't see game. My kids have harvested game.......but we've had many more days when they didn't. Even days where no turkeys were seen or heard, and not one tail of a deer was seen. They still wanted to go again and again(and my daughter has little patience). I think it's the approach I use with them when we're in the woods.
............I always have a positive attitude, regardless whether we see/get game.
.............. and second, (and I sometimes lose sight of this myself when I'm hunting on my own) there are a ton of things to observe and explain to kids when you're in the woods. Like was mentioned, they ask a ton of questions on their own, and I make sure I explain everyone I can. Is it important to keep noise to a minimum when hunting? Sure it is, but when things can be slow and they sometimes get antsy, it's time to break out the "book" of the outdoors. I'm constantly pointing out and explaining things to them. I sit and just see trees. They sit and see nests, bugs, spider webs, tweety birds, funny squirrel antics, sky colors, odd shaped trees, moss covered rocks, and numerous other things that I haven't paid attention to in a long time. There's learning all around us if we just look and observe. This not only starts the building blocks of woodsmanship, it keeps them from ever having a "boring" experience when hunting.
Even with video games and such that many think out compete hunting with kids, we sometimes don't give them enough credit if we just get them out in the woods.
Keep it positive, keep it entertaining/educational(kids are like sponges for knowledge at their age), and keep it fun.................and they'll want to keep going and going back for more. Mine do, even without deer sightings on every trip.